Are you *sure* there’s no way to retrieve MSN Messenger history without “archive messages” selected?
I’ve actually been asked “are you sure?” several times. I’m not sure if it’s suspicious
spouses or parents – or perhaps nervous spouses or kids – but here’s one
From your article Can I retrieve old MSN
Messenger conversations? I just wanted to quickly ask if there is
any other way to retrieve MSN history if the “auto archive
messages” option is not chosen. There must be a way!!
Become a Patron of Ask Leo! and go ad-free!
Not that I’m aware of, anyway. Conversations, when not being
archived, may never even hit the disk, so there’s nothing saved to be recovered.
There might be small, tiny chances that some memory swapping happened and that a fragment landed on disk, but again the chances are small and it was probably
immediately overwritten. The same tiny chance applies for any equipment that
the conversation traveled through.
To go further down that path you’re really talking computer forensics –
the stuff of computer detectives pulling apart hard drives to see what can be
recovered even from deleted data. But as I said, it’s unlikely there’s
anything TO recover. And that’s an expensive path to go down.
If you’re looking at all this before the fact, you could install various forms of
spyware. My prior article How can I keep my kids safe from internet garbage? discusses this, and has links to some resources.